The City of Vancouver has released a consultation paper working with the aim of introducing changes to achieve a reduction in the distribution of single-use items including: shopping bags (paper and plastic); take-out containers (including trays for meat and vegetables); and disposable beverage cups.

The proposed actions are found on pages 12 to 14 (in tables 1 to 3).  For shopping bags, these include:

• fees at point of sale (voluntary or regulated)
• shopping bags provided only upon request (voluntary or regulated)
• consumer education (behavior change) programs
• extended producer responsibility (for commercial, institutional and industrial waste – residential waste is already obligated)
• mandatory in-store recycling
• requiring minimum recycled content

Longer term proposals include use restrictions and targeting other single-use bags (including those used for produce, bulk food, dry cleaning, or, umbrellas).

There is a proposal to prohibit the use and sale of polystyrene foam containers for food and beverages as well as a proposal to introduce fees, or deposits, for reusable beverage cups.

Background:

RCC has worked with the City of Vancouver to inform the process and work toward better outcomes for the City, residents and retail businesses.

[The City of Victoria has proposed a ban on all plastic shopping bags (single-use and reusable) and a fee on paper shopping bags to be effective on January 1, 2018.  The City of Victoria is holding a public consultation meeting on September 20 in Victoria.]

Next Steps:

RCC has organized a meeting between the City of Vancouver and retail industry representatives in Montreal on September 27.  Our aim is for the retail industry and the City to work together to build a solution that works for retail and the City.

The City of Vancouver is holding two consultation sessions targeted to the retail industry on October 3 and November 8 as well as many sessions targeted to other stakeholders.  RCC will attend the retail-specific sessions and encourages retailers to attend so that the City understands the impacts upon retail and our customers.  Information can be found on the City’s consultation process here.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact: Greg Wilson, Director, Government Relations (B.C.) at 604-730-5254 or [email protected].